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Channel Attention Networks for Robust MR Fingerprint Matching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Refik Soyak, Ebru Navruz, Eda Ozgu Ersoy, Gastao Cruz, Claudia Prieto, Andy P. King, Devrim Unay, Ilkay Oksuz

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: IEEE Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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Abstract

Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (MRF) enables simultaneous mapping of multiple tissue parameters such as T1 and T2 relaxation times. The working principle of MRF relies on varying acquisition parameters pseudo-randomly, so that each tissue generates its unique signal evolution during scanning. Even though MRF provides faster scanning, it has disadvantages such as erroneous and slow generation of the corresponding parametric maps, which needs to be improved. Moreover, there is a need for explainable architectures for understanding the guiding signals to generate accurate parametric maps. In this paper, we addressed both of these shortcomings by proposing a novel neural network architecture (CONV-ICA) consisting of a channel-wise attention module and a fully convolutional network. The proposed approach, evaluated over 3 simulated MRF signals, reduces error in the reconstruction of tissue parameters by 8.88% for T1 and 75.44% for T2 with respect to state-of-the-art methods. Another contribution of this study is a new channel selection method: attention-based channel selection. Furthermore, the effect of patch size and temporal frames of MRF signal on channel reduction are analyzed by employing a channel-wise attention.

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